Despite your best intentions, it’s easy to let chores such as vacuuming and mopping slide, especially when you’re in college. The good news is that there is a wide variety of affordable robot vacuum cleaners on the market today. These robot vacuum cleaners might not come with all the bells and whistles found on the pricier models, but they’re ideal for basic cleaning demands.
Depending on your needs, you might focus on battery life or vacuums that are specifically designed for those with pets or allergies. Some vacuums also let you program cleanings up to several times a week to make sure the task gets done. Other features to consider include whether the vacuum has boundary markers to keep it from wandering off, and whether it can handle carpeted surfaces. Some vacuums are equipped with side brushes to get into places that are tough to reach. If you cringe at the thought of emptying the dust bin after each cleaning, consider a robot vacuum cleaner with a larger dust bin.
This list includes some of our top picks for affordable robot vacuums for college students. If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, check out a wider selection of robot vacuum cleaners on Amazon for more options. You can also browse our list of the Top 10 Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners Under $200 or Top 15 Best Robot Vacuums: The Heavy Power List.
1. Ecovacs DEEBOT DM85
If you’re looking for a combination floor cleaning and mopping robot, consider the Ecovacs DEEBOT DM85. To mop floors as efficiently as possible, this robot vacuum comes with a smart mopping system to make sure every inch is covered. A wet/dry mopping system first dampens the cleaning cloth then dries the area. Other features include a removable main brush, direct suction for more powerful cleaning when needed, and object detection technology. The vacuum is designed for hardwood floors and low-pile carpet. Choose between four available cleaning modes for best results.
If you don’t need the mopping function, consider the ECOVACS DEEBOT N78 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner.
This robot vacuum is best for vacuuming and mopping bare floors. It can also clean low-pile carpeting.
- Combination floor cleaning and mopping
- Four available cleaning modes
- Ideal for bare floors and low-pile carpeting
- Mopping feature could be better
- Lacks boundary markers
- Some say the vacuum has trouble finding its charging station when finished
2. iRobot Roomba 650
The iRobot Roomba 650 isn’t the newest or fanciest iRobot Roomba on the market, but it remains a top pick for its efficient cleaning, user-friendly design, and consistent results. There are plenty of noteworthy features for the price. Some examples include a full range of sensors for efficient navigation along with a multi-stage cleaning system that agitates, brushes, then suctions. A spinning side brush sweeps up dust and debris in corners and along wall edges. Virtual wall technology allows you to keep the robot vacuum cleaner out of forbidden areas. This Roomba automatically docks and recharges when the battery is low. You can also scheduling cleanings in advance, up to seven times per week.
If you’re looking for a step up, consider the new iRobot Roomba 690. This vacuum is built on the iRobot Roomba 650 platform yet also offers WiFi connectivity and an improved design. An older and less expensive version, iRobot Roomba 614, is also available.
This robot vacuum cleaner is best for its overall value, performance, and features in this price range.
Price: $274.99 (26 percent off MSRP)
- Ideal for hardwood floors
- Can schedule cleanings in advance
- Virtual wall technology keeps it out of forbidden areas
- Doesn’t have WiFi connectivity
- Dated design
- Cleaning pattern seems a bit erratic
3. BLACK+DECKER HRV425BL
The newly introduced BLACK+DECKER HRV425BL is designed for efficiency, with an extra large dustbin and an extra-wide cleaning path. It also comes with a Lithium Ion battery for up to 90 minutes of uninterrupted run time. Choose between three cleaning modes for optimal results. The vacuum automatically adjusts suction power when switching from hard floors to carpeting. It also comes with an LED top cover that displays alerts and error messages when an issue arises. Use the related app, which is compatible with Android and Apple devices, to control the vacuum.
This robot vacuum is best for consumers who are primarily concerned about battery life and efficiency.
Price: $299.99 (21 percent off MSRP)
- Lithium Ion battery offers up to 90 minutes of uninterrupted run time
- Extra large dustbin
- LED top cover displays alerts and error messages
- Lacks boundary markers
- Several competitors offer more cleaning options
- Relatively bulky design
4. PureClean PUCRC25
The PureClean PUCRC25 is an affordable robot vacuum cleaner that covers all the basics. You can count on it to sweep, dust, and vacuum a variety of floor surfaces. In addition to hardwood, it can handle tile, linoleum, and low/hard carpet floors. A HEPA filter traps fine particles, making the vacuum ideal for anyone with pets or allergies. Its bagless design makes cleaning easier. Other highlights include a one-button operation, obstacle detection, and stair sensors. The vacuum also stands out for its low-profile design, which enables it to sneak under furniture and other objects.
This robot vacuum is best for students looking for a budget-friendly vacuum specifically for pets and allergies.
- Can handle hardwood and carpet floors
- Obstacle and stair detection
- HEPA filter makes it ideal for allergies and pets
- A bit loud
- Relatively small dustbin
- Lacks virtual walls
5. ILIFE A4s
The ILIFE A4s adds a tangle-free system and mini-room mode over the A4 version. It also offers a slightly longer run time between 120 and 140 minutes. While it’s not ideal for thicker carpeting, the A4s is a solid choice for bare floors and thin carpets. Features such as a three-stage cleaning system, cliff and collision detection, and self-charging make it a solid choice for the price. There’s also a max mode. Schedule up to seven days of cleaning per week to keep your room clean and your roommate happy.
If you’re looking for a vacuum specifically designed to pick up after pets, consider the ILIFE V3s.
This robot vacuum is best for deep cleaning on carpets and floors.
Price: $199.99 (20 percent off MSRP)
- Generous run time between 120 and 140 minutes
- Cliff and collision detection
- Ideal for bare floors and thin carpets
- Small dust bin
- Tends to get tangled easily
- Random cleaning pattern
6. Eufy RoboVac 11
The Eufy RoboVac 11 is specifically designed for use on hard floors and thin carpeting. It’s also equipped with a HEPA-style filter to trap even the smallest particles and allergens, making it a practical investment for those with allergies and/or pets. While it doesn’t come with virtual wall barriers to keep it out of certain areas, this robot vacuum cleaner does offer powerful suction, drop-sensing technology, and self-charging. Infrared sensors guide the robot vacuum around each room. Other highlights include a multi-point cleaning system with side brushes and a rolling brush, along with a low-profile design and long-lasting Lithium Ion battery.
This robot vacuum cleaner is best for allergy sufferers, pet owners, and those who want a low-profile design.
Price: $219.99 (56 percent off MSRP)
- Long-lasting battery
- HEPA-style filter
- Low profile design
- Doesn’t have a bin full indicator
- Lacks boundary markers
- No WiFi connectivity
7. bObsweep Junior
The bObsweep Junior is the most basic member of the bObsweep robot vacuum family. However, it makes a name for itself regarding performance and cleaning power. Instead of the extra bells and whistles that come with some models, the Junior offers enhanced cleaning power and performance with no added frills. An extra large dustbin allows the vacuum to clean for longer periods of time without needing to be emptied. It also has an on-board diagnostics system.
If you want a slightly pricier vacuum that covers the basics and also offers a personalized cleaning schedule, consider the bObsweep Standard Robotic Vacuum Cleaner.
This robot vacuum is best for basic sweeping, vacuuming, and HEPA filtration.
- Ideal for those who want a no-frills vacuum
- Extra large dustbin
- On-board diagnostics
- Only comes in one color
- Many similarly priced competitors offer more features
- A bit noisy
8. Neato Botvac D3
It may be more of a budget stretch compared to other robot vacuum cleaners on this list, but that’s because the Neato Botvac D3 has lots to offer. For starters, it’s currently the cheapest WiFi-connected Neato currently available. A precise laser navigation system helps guide the vacuum around obstacles. As with every other Neato, the D3 features an innovative D-shape body that allows it to clean near walls and deep into corners to get out hidden bits of dirt and debris. The vacuum works with all floor types. It also automatically recharges and resumes cleaning, and can be programmed to automatically clean up to several times per week.
This robot vacuum is best for WiFi connectivity and getting into tough places, including corners and along walls, due to its D-shape design.
Price: $338.98 (15 percent off MSRP)
- WiFi connectivity
- Easily gets into corners
- Works on all floor types
- A few wish the battery life was better
- Some find the accompanying app frustrating
- Doesn’t have side brushes
9. ROLLIBOT BL618
The ROLLIBOT BL618, available in black and white, is designed to sweep, mop, and vacuum floor. It also offers UV filtration to help sterilize as it goes. HEPA filters trap smaller dust and dirt particles along with allergens. You can expect this vacuum cleaner to get about 90 minutes of run time per session before it heads back to its charger. Its low-profile design enables the vacuum cleaner to reach into tough places.
This robot vacuum is best for its quiet operation and UV light sterilization.
- UV filtration helps sterilize surfaces
- Comes with HEPA filters
- Approximate 90 minute run time
- Small dirt bin
- Can sometimes struggle to find its way home
- Lacks virtual wall boundary markers
10. INLIFE Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
The INLIFE Robotic Vacuum Cleaner stands out for its strong suction power, including sensors that detect and focus on dirty areas for thorough cleaning. Another feature is anti-bump technology to keep the robot vacuum cleaner from colliding with household items. Its slender design allows the vacuum to slide under furniture without getting stuck. Choose from five preset patterns for optimal coverage. The vacuum comes with side brushes and is best on hard floors.
This robot vacuum cleaner is best for powerful suction on hard floors.
Price: $179.99 (63 percent off MSRP)
- Strong suction power
- Drop and anti-bump technology
- Includes side brushes
- Lacks boundary markers
- Not designed for carpets
- Battery life could be better